Vas's Mushroom Recipes


Here is my collection for mushroom recipes for mushroom pickers. As what is cooked depends on what is found, where possible the recipes are arranged in groups based on species.

Notes for picking and preparing

Picking

When

The main mushroom season is late summer to autumn, although some (eg morels) appear in spring. Because mushrooms absorb a lot of water, mushrooms picked just after the rain can be soggy and bland. Waiting too long, however, can mean that insects, slugs, maggots, and other collectors will get to the mushroom before you.

Where

Habitats vary with species, but make sure that you have a right to access the land and pick mushrooms. Do not collect from conservation areas.

What

Safety: There are NO general rules to avoid poisonous mushrooms, except: if you can't identify it don't eat it. Consider taking a good field guide with you (book or person) so that the mushrooms can be identified before being picked. This prevents contaminating your bounty with poisonous species and prevents you collecting endangered species.

Do not collect un-opened/button mushrooms or emptying a site.

Cleaning

Where possible mushrooms should not be washed due to the amount of water they absorb. Inspect each mushroom for slug damage and maggots. First chop off any bad/damaged areas. Use a knife to scrape off grit/moss/grass, etc. Next they can be cleaned with a soft brush and then if it's still necessary wipe with a damp cloth. Mushrooms picked in sand dunes will be gritty - I've not found a way of getting enough grit out of them to be edible.

Cooking

Salt can bring out the water in mushrooms, which can cause them to go soggy when frying. It may be possible to avoid adding salt until the later stages of cooking. If the mushrooms release too much water during frying it is sometimes necessary to drain all the liquid (which can be used as a stock) and restart the frying with a fresh batch of oil/butter.

Storing

Fresh mushrooms that are to be used in around 2-5 days, should be stored in a cool, airy place, free from access by flies. Mushrooms release too much moisture to be stored in air tight containers (plastic bags/ plastic tubs) as the humid air accelerates the mushroom's deterioration. Flies are attracted to the scent of many mushrooms and, if they can get to them, you'll find your crop riddled with maggots. For longer term storage the mushrooms will need to be preserved.

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